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An Evangelical Reformer

Zürich gained for her the warm sympathy of that town, as well as of several other Swiss cities. For prudential reasons, this sympathy might not take the form of openly aiding a rebellion against Austria, but secret aid was doubtless promised and was certainly given. On several occasions when Austria menaced Waldshut with an armed force, men from Zürich came to her aid and caused the invaders to retire.

But there was a special reason just now for Austrian forbearance towards Waldshut, and for the triumphant return of the favourite preacher thither. Hans Muller and his band of insurgent peasants were in the immediate vicinity of the town, and had more or less fraternised with the citizens, and the Austrian Government was trembling at the possible consequence of this uprising. Archduke Ferdinand, with his usual treachery, was instructing his officers and governors to temporise with the peasants until he could collect a sufficient military force to crush them; in the meantime, it was evident that he could do nothing against Waldshut.

It is not easy to determine exactly what were the relations between Hübmaier and this movement.